Best Solar Backpacks

Green Power to Go: Best Solar Backpacks for People On The Move

Are you looking for the best solar backpack for the outdoors, traveling or everyday use?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

There are several ways to have power on the go from compact power banks for smartphones to larger portable generators that can power big appliances.

A solar backpack is one of the most convenient. It provides endless solar power on the go, allowing you to keep your phone, iPad and other devices charged.

A solar backpack consists of a normal backpack with a solar panel attached to the rear. This allows you the solar panel to keep generating power even when you are on the move.

Many backpacks also include a battery pack (power bank) that store power generated by a solar panel. You can charge directly from the solar panel during the day and then use the power bank at night or on cloudy days.

Solar backpacks are great for those who spend a lot of time on the road, whether at work, hiking, camping, backpacking or cycling.

This field guide will help you choose the best solar backpack for your needs. We’ve selected eight great solar backpacks that we think offer the best combination of portability, durability, ease of use and performance for a wide range of needs.

The chart below summarizes our top picks. Keep reading after the chart to learn more about each of these backpacks and the features to focus on when buying one.

Solar Backpack

Best For

Limitations

Slingshot Solar Sling Bag
Best Solar Backpacks
Daily commutes and 1-day adventures
The outer material is not waterproof or water resistant.
See Price
Ghostek NRGsolar 40L Laptop
Best Solar Backpacks
Outdoor, all-weather use
Lacks an anti-theft lock
See Price
Sunrise Solar Backpack
Best Solar Backpacks
Every day use and short hikes.
Limited capacity (a bit narrow)
See Price
Coolala Direct
Sports Backpack
Best Solar Backpacks
All Kinds Of Outdoor Adventures:  Hiking, Camping Trips, Fishing And 
For best results, charge this one before leaving home
See Price
CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger
Best Solar Backpacks
Every day use or 1-day hikes
Limited storage capacity
See Price
Lifepack Solar  
Best Solar Backpacks
College, work and day trips.
Could be more durable
See Price
ECEEN Solar Message Bag
Best Solar Backpacks
Cycling, festivals, camping, fieldwork and weekend trips.
Limited storage
See Price
ECEEN Hiking Daypack
Best Solar Backpacks
1-2 day hikes and every day use.
Weak solar panel limits you in the wild.
See Price

The Slingshot Solar Sling Bag

We love the rugged style and features of this Camo backpack. It is clearly designed for the avid adventurer with numerous storage nooks, hardy stitching and a MOLLE system for extra attachments.

This is a great choice if you are looking for a compact solar sling bag that is versatile, easy on your shoulders and powerful enough to keep your phone, camera or tablet charged all day,

Features

For power generation, it uses an integrated thin-film solar charging module that provides 4 watts of power –  enough to charge small devices like your smartphone, GoPro or iPad.

There’s also a dedicated sleeve for your iPad or tablet.

You can charge your devices on the go using a USB cord, which is not included. Just make sure you are walking or cycling in direct sunlight for most of the time.

The Slingshot has a single sling strap that is thickly padded and can be operated easily with either the right or left hand. The strap has a quick release buckle that is handy for emergencies when you need to remove the bag quickly.

Storage, Storage Everywhere

Despite its compact size, the Slingshot Solar Sling Bag offers more than a few ways to carry your gear.

The numerous pockets and compartments are designed for easy organization for different things like your phone, tablet, credit cards and outdoor gear.

The main compartment provides both front and top load access. It also features a hidden pocket where you can install your Kevlar insert. The rear panel has a concealed zippered pocket where you can put your tablet or iPad and charge it on the go.

The side panel has a MOLLE system for extra storage. Here you can attach any other MOLLE-compatible gear you need to carry with you such as a flashlight, knife or rifle bag.

Best Solar Backpacks

Limitations

Even with the MOLLE system, this is a relatively small bag. It’s best for daily commutes and 1- or 2-day adventures. It won’t carry all the gear you need for week-long camping / hiking trips.

The outer material is not waterproof or even water resistant, either.

Summary

The Slingshot Solar Sling Bag is a rugged compact solar backpack that’s great for everyday use and dry-weather outdoor adventures.

The MOLLE system gives you plenty of extra storage on top of the numerous nooks and pockets scattered throughout the bag.

The solar panel is not particularly powerful, but it’s good enough to keep your essential devices charged.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

Ghostek NRGsolar 40L Laptop Backpack

If you are looking for something bigger and more powerful, this laptop backpack is perfect.

You can charge your devices directly from the integrated solar panel or use the built-in power bank.

It can fit a laptop as big as 15.6 inches and has 5 USB port for charging multiple devices.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

While still not powerful enough to charge something as big as a laptop, the Ghostek NRGsolar can charge multiple smartphones, tablets, and cameras at the same time. It’s great when you have several devices that you need to keep charged.

It comes with an 8.8 watt solar panel and a 16 Ah power bank. You can charge your devices directly from the sun or from the power bank. You can recharge the power bank from a standard power outlet, when back at home.

To enjoy fast charging, connect the power bank to charge from the solar panel through the day. You can then connect your devices at night to the power bank, which has 5 USB ports.

A conveniently-placed LED battery gauge on the shoulder strap tells you how much juice is in the power bank. You won’t have to open the bag every time you want to check its status.

Tough and Water Resistant

The backpack  has a nice urban design that looks great whether you are commuting to work or taking a hike in the wild.

The solar panel is affixed to the rear and is removable.

There are plenty of compartments to organize your stuff in with the biggest capable of holding a 15-inch laptop.

The external material is tough and water resistant. The straps and seams are well stitched to last.

Overall, the backpack feels really comfortable. Even when fully loaded it still feels light and balanced.

Limitations

Considering  this is a laptop backpack, it would have been nice if they had installed an anti-theft lock.

The laptop compartment is somewhat hidden under a flap, but a determined thief wouldn’t have to work hard to find it.

Summary

The Ghostek NRGsolar is one of the best solar laptop backpacks selling today for outdoor enthusiasts. It provides plenty of power to keep multiple devices charged, has a lot of space for your gear and feels comfortable on your shoulders.

See Latest Price on Amazon.com

Sunrise Solar Backpack

If you need a 100% waterproof solar backpack that can hold a laptop, then get this one.

It’s big enough to fit a 15.6-inch laptop and comes with solar charger as well as a built-in battery bank. You can use it for college, daily commute or outdoor hiking.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

The backpack uses a 4W high-efficiency (22%) solar pack made from monocrystal solar cells. The panel is protected by an anti-scratch tough PVC cover. You don’t have to worry about damaging it when outdoors.

It also comes with an integrated 4000 mAh power bank. It’s great when you need to charge your phone or tablet quickly. You can recharge the power bank using the solar panel or a DC charger.

Good for Everywhere

The best part of the Sunrise Solar Backpack is its versatility. It’s not designed to look aggressively wild and rugged or stylish and urban. The design and features work in  all situations.

Need to go on a hike? The solar panel, power bank, and waterproof material will come in handy.

Need a bag for college? You’ll love the laptop pocket and minimalist design.

Want to use it for work? There are plenty of storage nooks for your laptop, phone, tablet and other things. And the styling is subdued.

Limitations

Most customers say the bag is a bit narrow. You won’t be able to budge it up to fit an extra item. So if you are looking for a supersized bag that can carry a whole lot of stuff, this may not be it.

But for everyday use and occasional hiking, it’s one of the best.

Summary

The Sunrise solar backpack scores points for the waterproof design. The multi-pocketed design makes organization easy for things as big as a laptop and as small as your keys. The solar panel and power bank are good enough to keep your devices charged all day.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

Coolala Direct Sports Backpack

The Coolala Direct Sports Backpack is a good choice for hiking, camping trips, fishing and all kinds of outdoor adventures.

This solar backpack’s hardy design can handle the outdoors well, and the integrated solar panel ensures you remain connected with your friends and family no matter how far you travel.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

The Coolala Direct Sports Backpack doesn’t have a power bank like some of the backpacks on this list. But the 7-watt solar panel on its own is powerful enough to keep your phone, camera and tablet charged.

The solar panel has a high efficiency (22%) ensuring faster charging and improved performance in low sunlight. When on the move, it’ll keep charging your devices through a 5V USB port. A micro USB cable is provided.

The solar panel is removable. When not moving, you can remove it and lay it on the ground to receive direct sunlight.

Made for the Outdoors

The backpack uses a water-resistant material. It can withstand a light drizzle and a few accidental splashes of water, but you still need to be careful especially if you have delicate gear inside.

It has a snuggly lightweight design. The straps are well stitched and stress points reinforced to ensure durability.

The solar panel is protected by a tough anti-scratch PVC coating.

Limitations

The lack of an integrated power bank is a bit of a downer. Power banks charge devices faster, and they are great for storing charge from a solar panel for later use.

But you can still carry your power bank and charge it using the USB cord.

Summary

The Coolala Direct Sports backpack is a compact and a lightweight solar backpack designed for the outdoors. But you can also use it as an everyday backpack for work or college. If you are not traveling far, just unclip the solar panel and leave it at home.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Backpack

With its vibrant green styling, the CHOETECH looks like the perfect solar backpack. But beyond its looks, it’s quite a powerful backpack solar station.

The solar panel is rated at a powerful 24W. Unfortunately, it will still not charge your laptop (it accepts USB devices only) but it will charge your phone or iPad much faster than most other solar backpacks.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

This is the most powerful solar backpack on our list.

At 24W, it quickly charges any USB device. You can be using Google maps, and your phone will still charge fairly quickly. It’s great if you have a lot of devices or are planning a multi-day trip.

The panel has a high solar efficiency rate of 23%-24% and can comfortably charge two devices at ones. The built-in voltage regulator protects your devices.

The downside of having such a powerful portable solar pack is the size of the solar panel pack. This particular panel set will stretch down your back past the bottom of the backpack when unfolded. The unfolded solar panel is 780 mm long. It will look and feel awkward – especially if you use it in the city.

The Best Outdoor Companion

If you are an avid outdoor enthusiast, I suggest you use your travel backpack rather than the one that comes with this solar panel.

The solar panel is great, but the bag not so much – especially for hardcore outdoors adventurers. It feels like a bonus throw-in. It has few pockets and doesn’t look like it’s built for the outdoors.

The solar panel comes with four carabiner clips. So you can attach it to any other backpack.

But for everyday use or day hikes, the backpack is good enough for most people. Interestingly, it can fold down into a smaller bag.

Limitations

If you like to carry a lot of gear for your outdoor adventures, the bag will disappoint. That’s why I recommend using a different outdoor backpack.

Another item that’s missing and which you should buy is a power bank. If you ask any outdoor enthusiast, a power bank is a must even with a portable solar station.

Summary

This is a great solar backpack for urban and day hikes with friends who all need a charge. The high-capacity solar panel ensures you never run out of power. And even on cloudy days, it still manages to juice up your phone enough to keep it on.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

Lifepack Solar Powered Anti-Theft Backpack

This backpack started its journey in Kickstarter where the makers raised over $500,000.

This is definitely one of the most feature-packed solar backpacks you can buy, and the price shows it. For around $200 you get a travel backpack with an integrated solar charger, power bank and Bluetooth speakers.

Yes, it has Bluetooth loudspeakers inside.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

Lifepack doesn’t provide the wattage of their solar panel or the power capacity of the power bank. That said, a full power bank can charge your phone 6 times or provide 96 hours of music playback.

Four hours of direct sunshine will give you one extra phone charge and 8 hours of additional playback.

The power bank can charge two devices at once – while the music is playing.

There is a USB port on the side where you can plug your USB devices and charge them on the go.

The High-Tech Backpack

The backpack  comes with a long list of unique features. We have already mentioned the three most important: solar charger, power bank and Bluetooth speakers.

This backpack is also lockable although users say the locking mechanism is not very secure. The O rings are too big such that someone can still pull the zips wide enough to thrust a hand in and pilfer something when you are not looking.

The backpack has two storage zones: a lifeline zone for all your items and a work zone for work-related stuff. The latter can fit a 15.6-inch laptop. Both compartments are lockable.

Multiple layers protect from falls, cuts, and scratches.

On the outside is a water-resistant layer that protects your stuff from light drizzles and accidental splashes. There is also a dedicated rain cover you can use to waterproof the bag.

Beneath that is a tough anti-cut plastic layer. 4mm anti-shock foam protects from falls and bumps.

Finally, there is a nice, soft fabric on the inside to prevent scratches on your devices. Nice touch.

Limitations

The most common complaint from verified owners is that the bag does not last long before problems begin to show up. The lock is the first to go. It stops working properly.

After a few months, some owners claim the backpack started tearing at the seams.

Here’s our advice: don’t consider this to be a heavy-duty outdoor backpack. It’s great for college, going to work and normal travel. It’s also good for day hikes and a few other adventures.

But don’t be too rough on it or overload it with gear. If you are looking for a tough hiking backpack, this is not it.

Summary

Is the backpack worth the price tag?

Well, most customers seem to think so. They love the lockable feature, the built-in music, and the powerful solar panel-power bank duo.

As long as you don’t use it as a heavy duty hiking or camping bag, it’s a good buy.

You can take it to the beach, festivals, weekend trips or your daily hikes. And we gotta agree: the music speakers are a great addition, when you are hiking.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

ECEEN Bag Pack with Solar Panel Charger

This urban day bag is large enough to hold tablets and laptops up to 14 inches in size.

It has a versatile design that works well whether you use it for weekend trips or moving around town. You can also use the ECEEN for cycling, festivals, camping, and fieldwork.

But it’s not really designed for hiking.

It comes with a high-efficiency solar charger plus a built-in power bank.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

You can charge your USB devices either directly from the solar panel or use the integrated power bank (it charges faster).

The ECEEN has a surprisingly powerful 7 watt solar panel with a 22% efficiency rating so it charges fast – especially in direct sunlight.

You can also choose to charge the 10,000 mAh power bank through the day and use the stored charge at night or on cloudy days.

Compact & Rugged – But Not Waterproof

The main compartment can fit most tablets, iPads and 14” laptops. Its padded with soft foam to protect your device from bumps and falls.

The solar panel is waterproof, but the backpack is not. The main material is a type of tough nylon that is rugged and durable. At the bottom, PU leather protects against abrasion when you place the bag on the ground.

The bag is super comfortable. It’s has a lightweight frame that fits snugly around your back. The straps are adjustable to ensure maximum comfort. They are also extra wide hence won’t cut into your shoulder.

Limitations

The bag is not really designed for heavy outdoor use or hiking. But it’s awesome for urban walkers and cyclists.

And if it rains, the solar panel will be unaffected but the bag will be soaked through and through.

Summary

This is one of the most versatile solar urban day packs on our list. It’s small and stylish enough as an everyday daypack and rugged enough to take with your on trips out of town.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

ECEEN Hiking Daypack Ultra Lightweight with Portable Solar Charger

If you need a bigger and hardier ECEEN backpack than the one above, this is a good choice.

It is designed specifically for camping with a lightweight frame, plenty of pockets for organizing your stuff, water-resistant material and a less powerful 3.5W removable solar panel.

Best Solar Backpacks

Features

The solar panel is attached to the back of this ECEEN hiking bag using three carabiner clips. It’s not the most powerful on this list, but it’ll keep your devices charged. At 22% efficiency, it charges quickly.

For faster charging, I recommend using the integrated 2,000 mAh battery pack. You can charge it directly from the solar panel. It takes a full day of sunshine to fill it up.

Lightweight, Rugged and Roomy

The bag is deceptively small. When you open it, it’s actually much bigger inside with multiple pockets to organize your gear. The main compartment is big enough to fit a tablet or laptop.

At first glance, the bag looks  a bit cheap but long-term owners say it is actually hardy and durable. It won’t start tearing or coming apart at the seams.

The straps are adjustable to ensure a perfect fit. They are made of a breathable material that feels comfortable even on hot days.

The outer material is water resistant. This means it’ll mostly keep your stuff dry if you get caught in the rain. But if you are carrying sensitive devices inside like a laptop, I suggest you carry extra protection such as a rain cover.

Limitations

The solar charger and battery pack are on the lower end of power supply and charging time. The 3.5W solar panel will struggle on cloudy days and the 2,000 mAh battery pack doesn’t store much power.

The bag is great, but if you love hiking or camping for days, consider attaching a more powerful solar panel and battery pack.

Summary

Even though the solar panel and battery pack are not as capable as in other backpacks, they are adequate for many people. The backpack is rugged, spacious, lightweight and versatile.

We recommend it for everyday hikers and campers, backpackers and everyday use.

See Latest Price On Amazon.com

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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