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Welcome to the future! 

A Solar Backpack is something that you might not even have known existed prior to reading this article, and you will not be alone in that.

The concept of a solar backpack sounds very much like a science fiction item rather than something you could find on the shelves of your local outdoor store. As it stands, the future is now, and solar backpacks don’t just exist but are also growing in popularity for outdoor enthusiasts. They’ve really carved out a niche of their own, next to conventional backpacks and daypacks.

These peculiar but unbelievably handy devices provide unmatched comfort. Imaging having access to your beloved outlets from home without the need to pay more on an electricity bill or buy some magic phone charging bank that can last for several days.

Sounds confusing?

Please continue reading. Things are about to get clearer.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking for the comfort of keeping your electronic devices charged, buying a solar backpack might just be right for you. 

What Is A Solar Pack?

General Overview

Solar backpacks are, quite literally, backpacks with solar panels designed to absorb sunlight while you stroll through nature and convert it into energy. You can use that energy to power most of your favorite electronic gadgets.

Watch the video below that describes 5 popular solar backpacks.

These backpacks rely on solar panels to make sure you always have an energy supply while you’re on the go. In that way, you can enjoy the ease and comfort of keeping your devices charged without relying on extra battery packs for each device. You never have to go out completely devoid of your favorite electronics.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels are built up of multiple tiny units referred to as photovoltaic cells. These individual cells work by absorbing photons, which are particles of light sent by the sun, to knock electrons free from nearby atoms. This causes a flow of electricity.

In the same way that plants convert energy from sunlight, solar panels are designed to draw and absorb sunlight to generate power. That power can be stored and then utilized for the convenience of owning entirely mobile and free energy. 

Charging Your Pack

Keeping The Solar Panels Fed

To provide the best possible experience when using a solar backpack, your only goal will be to make sure the panels on your backpack are exposed to as much sunlight as possible. The best way to achieve this is to make sure that as you walk, you stay in direct sunlight as often as you can.

While you will certainly want to wear sunblock, you will be pleased to see how much more energy your backpack absorbs when you focus on walking in sunlight rather than dipping through the shadows. The general rule of solar panels is that the more sunlight you expose it to, the more hours worth of energy you will ultimately end up with.

Alternate Options For Cloudy Days

If you have plans about taking your solar backpack on a big trip and suddenly realize the forecast will not support your backpack’s need to be in sunlight, most solar backpacks come with an alternate option for your convenience.

While the primary benefit of using a solar backpack is the ability to rely on the solar energy, sometimes the sun doesn’t cooperate.

Rather than cancelling your trip, you can rely on the fact that most backpacks can charge from a direct power source. This means that you can charge the backpack in the comfort of your own home or in the car while you drive. No matter what, you can enjoy the same energy reserve regardless of the weather conditions. 

Battery Expectations

How Long Does a Charge Last?

The charge of a solar backpack can vary depending on the model. Overall, the size of the battery itself can impact the amount of charge it can hold, as well as the size and effectiveness of the solar panels.

Some solar backpacks can offer charge for up to fifty-five hours from a simple ten-hour charge. This means that if you leave your backpack out the day before your big trip, you can have reliable energy for multiple days.

One thing to consider beyond the physical limitations of your solar backpack is the duration of your energy reserve entirely depends on what you do with it. If you are charging a laptop, you can expect that to take more energy than charging a cell phone. The amount of items and duration of time that you have them plugged in will affect how your reserves are drained, making it a unique experience every time.

Do Solar Panels Break Down?

A common concern for a person investing in any kind of solar panel is how long it will last. As far as solar panels go, degrading the panels is an extensive process that will likely outlast the integrity of the backpack overall. It is actually more likely that you will break a solar panel before it will stop working when it comes to converting energy. 

Limitations of the Solar Backpack

No Sun Or Power Supply, No Energy

The obvious limitation of using any kind of solar backpack is that you truly are at the whims of the sun. While most do allow you to charge them in advance if you suspect sun might be out of reach, if you end up on a lengthy backpacking trip and you find yourself in consistently cloudy weather, it is unlikely that your reserves will last.

This might result in you ending up carrying a pack that cannot convert energy and has run out of its original source. Certain times of year may be more conducive to using these sorts of tools than other. 

Are Solar Backpacks Waterproof?

A primary concern for many people planning to use a solar backpack for hiking is whether or not the backpacks are waterproof. While some backpacks are designed to be completely waterproof, the majority of these packs are only water resistant.

This means that you will have protection that can be counted on to some extent from the elements or in the event that you experience a leak within the backpack from a water bottle.

However, in case severe rain befalls you on your journey, you will without question want a tarp or wrap for your backpack to ensure that the bag itself stays dry and safe. This will ensure the integrity of the electrical components of the item itself. 

Benefits To Using a Solar Backpack

Charging The Essentials

The main reason that makes people invest in a solar backpack is because it allows them more convenience in terms of what devices they can take on an extensive trip. A solar backpack is fully capable of charging most mobile devices including cell phones, laptops, camera equipment, and various other gadgets.

Though the amount of charging you can complete with each charge cycle does vary depending on what devices you are plugging in, a good solar backpack can manage all of your mobile needs to accommodate your backpacking experience. 

Maintaining a Solar Backpack

Keeping Your Backpack Clean and Dry

Since the effectiveness of your solar backpack’s ability to convert sunlight to direct energy depends on how well it absorbs sunlight, it should come as no surprise that some maintenance is involved to keep it working as expected.

The most important thing you can do to keep your solar backpack running well is to preserve your solar panels clean.

Since any dirt or grime can block your solar panel from absorbing sunlight, you want to make sure you routinely clean the panels to allow for maximum sunlight input. This can be done using a soft cloth and water, or for severe buildup, you can use small amounts of vinegar or dish soap to help clean them up.

Under no circumstances should you ever fully submerge your solar panels or electrical components. You will only want to use a slightly damp cloth to carry out the cleaning process. 


Solar backpacks are a handy tool that can help you stay on the grid with all of your technology even when you are out in nature.

Though you might expect something this futuristic to be incredibly expensive, solar backpacks are actually reasonable priced. You can find some models for under hundred dollars.

The amount of money that can be saved besides the convenience of always having a charge on the go whether you’re heading into the city or out into nature makes these trendy devices a useful tool for plenty of people in the modern age.

Since the solar panels are long-lasting and can severely cut the cost of your energy needs, it should come as no surprise that mobile solar units like these are increasing in popularity.

This is one of the many convenient ways to help you go green. Owning a solar pack can help you stay in touch whether you want to take your phone for music while hiking or you need to charge camera equipment for your next photo shoot out in nature.

No matter how you look at it, these fun tools are exciting and useful.

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About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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